Peppery rocket, sweet peach and salty feta salad

This is a very easy but unusual salad. It’s unusual because fruit in salads is still not the norm, but it often works really well – here it provides a sweetness which acts as a counterpoint to the peppery rocket and the salty feta.

I try and use white peaches…I used to have a prolific white peach tree which grew around the outside of a glass house, on a south-facing wall of a Victorian walled garden. One day the glass house blew down and the peach tree never recovered. Now I buy my white peaches in Italy, where they grow juicy and full of flavour. That’s in an ideal world! Ordinary orange peaches also work well. To add something REALLY special, macerate the peaches in lime juice, griddle, and then add to this salad. The peas and the tomatoes (technically fruits in any case) emphasise the sweetness.

The reason for using the feta is for the saltiness. I know it’s supposedly not healthy but from a taste point of view it’s intrinsic to this dish. You certainly need some, but you can cut it with ricotta… or even with cottage cheese.

With regard to the pepperiness, if you are lucky enough to be able to lay your hands on some watercress, you can use this instead of the rocket. If you want to add prettiness and pepperiness you can add nasturtium flowers… those look stunning.

You can also notch up the onion taste by substituting spring onions for the chives; or by sprinkling over some nigella seeds.

This salad goes really well served with soft folds of prosciutto. Or, and this works particularly well, add some salami or chorizo, or cooked lardons, into the salad itself.

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